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If you’ve been dragging your feet on your Thanksgiving menu plan, hoping the costs will drop right before the holiday, you’ll love these budget-friendly Thanksgiving recipes. From appetizers to dessert, I’m sharing my favorite economical ideas for your holiday table!
With the cost of frozen whole turkeys up approximately 20%, this is the year to try something new as your Thanksgiving centerpiece. A fabulous bonus, these alternatives equal less time in the kitchen. You won’t need hours basting and babysitting to get the perfectly cooked bird!
When planning your budget-friendly Thanksgiving meal, keep it simple. Plan your menu in advance, make your shopping list, and stick to it. Remember, seasonal vegetables will be the most affordable. Be sure to check the frozen and even canned sections too. Two of my favorite recipes, listed below, use canned vegetables!
Kick off the festivities with an easy appetizer or two.
My mom always made an amazing Thanksgiving Day spread. We each had our favorites that we’d request year after year. My dad loved her homemade rolls. I loved her Cheeseball Salad. I’ve made the salad a few times as an adult, and remade it as Cheeseball Salad Parfaits a few years ago. While both versions are slightly more labor-intensive and don’t meet my “easy” criteria for this post, you should still check them out here.
- Winter Salad
- Cold Roasted Root Veggie Salad (You can make this a day or two ahead of time!)
- Simple green salad with homemade dressing
Adding a soup course to your holiday meal not only ups the “wow” factor but can also help fill you up. This can be a great way to stretch your food dollars for a special meal.
If you’re skipping the giant turkey this year, try these quick and tasty alternatives. If you just can’t give up on a whole bird, try my friend Wardee’s Perfectly Moist Turkey. It’s fabulous.
- Pork Roast with Winter Vegetables (this fabulous dish includes sides!)
- Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken (it really is amazing. I omit the thyme if it doesn’t fit in my budget)
- Turkey Breast Florentine (don’t let this scare you! I promise, this stuffed turkey breast goes together easily and makes a WOW presentation)
Round out your meal with a little something on the side.
No holiday meal would be complete without a little something sweet to finish it off.
- Applesauce Custard Pie (substitute whole wheat flour for the sprouted, if needed for your budget)
- Magic Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Pie (can sub acorn, buttercup, or butternut squash for the pumpkin)
It’s always fun to have a special beverage during a celebration. We usually buy sparkling apple or grape cider because they’re our favorite. But here’s a few other excellent options.
- Simple Hot Spiced Cider
- Fall Kombucha Flavors (making your own kombucha is a great way to experience a variety of fun flavors on a shoestring budget)
- Nonalcoholic Moscow Mule